Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: The Post-Modern Parsley of Pretension

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 10 Feb 2007

Robert Elkin wrote:

A former professor of mine described nostalgia as an inability to face history coupled with an inability to discard the past. What do you think?

************ I'd say that Mario was speaking lightly with tongue- in-cheek. The "winks" he notes is satire, parody, pastiche, an irony of style, or some combination thereof. None of that equates to nostalgia. It's closer to a ridicule of nostalgia.

Concerning your history professor's line, it's vague enough to be close to useless. It's surely no improvement over simply identifying nostalgia as a longing for the past, a definition available in any dictionary. The bottom line is that the past is supremely important, not only as record of where we have been and how we got where we are, but also as a pointer to where we are going.


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